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Clipless pedals

Old 09-24-21, 08:12 PM
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Awesomeguy
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Clipless pedals

Iím interested in getting clipless pedals.
ive had my first bike over a year (fitness bike) and I feel having the pedals will help me riding out of the saddle and also work the leg muscles so the back/ pulling muscles will be engaged during upstroke .
with that said which pedals and shoes should I get?
I like the spd over road Bc I donít have to worry about walking weird with the road shoes , but I do value the things mentioned above .

please advise what I should get?
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Old 09-24-21, 08:31 PM
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I ride spd on the road. Have for over 20 years and obviously like them. They will work well for you.
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Old 09-24-21, 08:43 PM
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SPD cleats last forever. SPD-SL not so much. If you plan on walking on rides, get the SPD.
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Old 09-24-21, 11:14 PM
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If youíre worried about walking in the shoes, get pedals with 2-hole cleats like spd or Crank Bros.

if you find you like riding clipless, you can maybe consider transitioning to 3-hole cleats later, but for a first clipless pedal, absolutely go with spd.

And go with a flip-sided pedal to start; one with a clip on one side and flat on the other.
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Old 09-25-21, 04:46 AM
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Could you recommend specific models?
Also can I get any model of pedals and any model of shoes combo.. how do I know if it is compatible
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Old 09-25-21, 05:12 AM
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If you go with SPD cleats, you can use any shoe that supports two hole cleats - most will say SPD compatible, easy to Google search. You will usually find SPD compatible shoes listed under Mountain Bike shoes if you look at manufacturer sites.

You can spend a wide range of $ on shoes, your first time out I'd start out at the low end. You will find different types of closure mechanisms, with good old fashioned shoe laces the least expensive, next up Velcro, then ratcheting arrangements, then dials and wires (often called BOA). Once I went away from laces, I never went back but I do still have my first pair of SPD shoes that are lace up.

You will see many that have very aggressive soles, like hiking boots - those are really aimed at mountain biking. Then you will see many with pretty flat bottoms, intended for rail trail/road/gravel riding,

I've had good luck with Specialized and Shimano shoes - both are often on sale at REI, too.
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Old 09-25-21, 05:46 AM
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Start with Shimano PD EH500 or M324, or a similar off-brand design.

it might be tempting to buy pedals used, but remember that new pedals come with cleats, which can often cost nearly as much as some pedals.
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Old 09-25-21, 06:00 AM
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The walkability thing comes up every time a clipless thread is created. SPD cleats are not automatically more walkable. You also need the right shoe so that the cleat is recessed to make walking more natural. My Bontrager Circuit shoes I find are more comfortable for walking with my Look compatible cleats than SPD cleats. I also find that composite three hole cleats are not prone to the pedal creak that I had with my SPD pedals.

Also I read online how difficult clipless pedals were supposed to be getting used to and thought starting with SPD was a good idea. It turns out I just used a pedal for a few months that I didn't prefer. They were fine for road use as others have mentioned but overall I'm happier with my Look compatible pedals and cleats. I can go for a 50 mile ride and walk maybe 50 feet from the time I leave the house until I return so being able to walk better isn't a big issue for me. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 09-25-21, 06:13 AM
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fwiw - on my road bike, I like wide 1 sided MTB pedals w/ smooth bottomed MTB shoes
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Old 09-25-21, 07:01 AM
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I tried multiple versions of the road pedal, Shimano, Look, Time, but I kept coming back to the Time ATAC's, another 2 bolt system. I decided I liked them much more than the 3 bolts and liked the platform size more than the standard Shimano SPD's. And just because they are 2 bolt does not make them walkable for long distance, but it does make them more stable on most surfaces.
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Old 09-25-21, 07:57 AM
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Been using Shimano SPD pedals (m520?) since the mid '90s and they've been working great for my cycling needs. eg. casual, non-competitive everyday use.
The Shimano RT82 Road/Touring shoes nicely recess the cleats to allow "walking" on multiple surfaces. They are relatively light and look like road shoes vs the clunky mountain shoes with thick treads.
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Old 09-25-21, 08:31 AM
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These pedals have spd on one side and platform on the other - I transitioned to clipless using them and still have them on my touring bike.

https://www.rei.com/product/145394/s...rt-road-pedals

Shimano makes an omnidirectional style of spd cleat that unclips more easily and might be worth considering to start.
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Old 09-25-21, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
Could you recommend specific models?
Also can I get any model of pedals and any model of shoes combo.. how do I know if it is compatible
While I prefer the two-sided spd (cleat clips in on either side so I don't have to flip pedal), I prefer the multi-release. Those allow you to turn your foot in or out to release from the pedal. They click in easier, too.
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Old 09-25-21, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
Iím interested in getting clipless pedals.
ive had my first bike over a year (fitness bike) and I feel having the pedals will help me riding out of the saddle and also work the leg muscles so the back/ pulling muscles will be engaged during upstroke .
with that said which pedals and shoes should I get?
I like the spd over road Bc I donít have to worry about walking weird with the road shoes , but I do value the things mentioned above .

please advise what I should get?
Countless studies have shown that this is not what actually happens, even with pro cyclists. There is no significant power produced on the upstroke. So don't go expecting an improvement in that regard.

But there are definitely other benefits to going clipless, so not trying to put you off. Just pointing out that this supposed upstroke power gain is not going to happen for you, except possibly at ultra-low cadence hauling a big gear up a steep hill (not a recommended technique).
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Old 09-25-21, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Countless studies have shown that this is not what actually happens, even with pro cyclists. There is no significant power produced on the upstroke. So don't go expecting an improvement in that regard.

But there are definitely other benefits to going clipless, so not trying to put you off. Just pointing out that this supposed upstroke power gain is not going to happen for you, except possibly at ultra-low cadence hauling a big gear up a steep hill (not a recommended technique).
It's not really an 'up' stroke; in practice, it's more pushing forward over the top of the stroke, and pulling back across the bottom. Pulling up with one leg while pushing down with the other is something you really have to train for, like a competitive Track cyclist.

Clipless lets you ' pedal in circles' more easily (you don't need to focus on keeping your feet in place on the pedals). Pedaling 'circles' doesn't really increase your power, since your whole system can only put out a certain amount of watts, but what it does do is take some of the peak loads off of your quads (the primary drivers) and spread it out to the other muscle groups, like hamstrings, calves and glutes, so that you're putting less maximum stress on a single muscle group.
It can make a noticable difference on a long, steep climb.
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Old 09-25-21, 07:00 PM
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^ this.
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Old 09-25-21, 07:52 PM
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If you are new to clipless, then it is worth your time to purchase the SHIMANO SM-SH56 SPD Cleat Set , as these cleats are multi-directional to clip out of the pedals.

No more tipping over as you struggle to clip-out.
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Old 09-25-21, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by JAG1 View Post
No more tipping over as you struggle to clip-out.
Donít make promises like that.


ďLessĒ.
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Old 09-25-21, 10:15 PM
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Another thing I like about clipless pedals is that they put your foot in the right spot on the pedal each time. With flat pedals you have to fiddle with your feet on the pedals, lifting them up and setting them back down on the pedals until you get both feet where you want them, because they donít slide on the spikes.
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Old 09-26-21, 01:01 AM
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You know how when you have a stick shift car no one ever asks to borrow it? I personally think that having the 520's on my Trek roadbike makes joyriders think twice. For that reason I don't advise double sided split platform pedals. Full clipless or nothing. I can tell by the way most people worry about clipless that when they get them they are going to use them wrong! I pop my non-dominant foot out of the pedal at almost every intersection! Approaching train tracks? Clip out! Make it across and clip back in. That wasn't so hard. If you are routinely popping your foot out of the pedal AS you reach zero speed you are (MO) doing it wrong! Your foot should have been out of the pedal 100' earlier! "But that wastes ...what? Speed? Efficiency? You're in town! What speed? What efficiency? When you are out hammering on a State Park loop you don't need me to tell you that its ok to not worry about clipping out ever 100 feet ... do you?
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Old 09-26-21, 01:50 AM
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I only buy VP pedals. They're great quality pedals for good prices and you're not paying for a fancy brand. Their road pedals use Shimano SPD-SL style cleats and their spd pedals also use Shimano type cleats.

You have to ask yourself how much walking you're actually going to do and what kind of rides you'll be doing. For long rides I do prefer road pedals because they have a bigger platform and the pressure on your foot is spread out wider. I don't have a problem walking in them. My road shoes have a rubber bumper on the heel and spd-sl cleats have little bumpers that allow you to walk pretty easy. A couple of weeks ago I got stranded on a ride because I had a puncture and the pump head on my co2 pump failed. I walked home two miles no problem.

The only real problem I have with regular spd's on the road is that they usually have a problem with the cleats squeaking which is annoying. Sometimes you can trim the sole around the cleat and that may or may not totally eliminate it.

But if you want a good spd pedal look at the VP VX Race, I have two sets of those and they're the best spd pedals I've ever had and I've had many different ones since the 90's. They have a little platform on each side of the cleat that the sole of your shoe rests on which does help spread out the pressure. There's other spd pedals with bigger platforms and I had a set once. The big platform was worthless when I was clipped in because the sole of the shoe didn't even touch it, I just added weight with a heavier pedal. It's only good if you're going to ride in regular sneakers or sandals or something.

I see these are kind of expensive, though. A few years ago I got lucky and found an ebay seller who had them for $25 and I scooped up two sets.


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Old 09-26-21, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
It's not really an 'up' stroke; in practice, it's more pushing forward over the top of the stroke, and pulling back across the bottom. Pulling up with one leg while pushing down with the other is something you really have to train for, like a competitive Track cyclist.

Clipless lets you ' pedal in circles' more easily (you don't need to focus on keeping your feet in place on the pedals). Pedaling 'circles' doesn't really increase your power, since your whole system can only put out a certain amount of watts, but what it does do is take some of the peak loads off of your quads (the primary drivers) and spread it out to the other muscle groups, like hamstrings, calves and glutes, so that you're putting less maximum stress on a single muscle group.
It can make a noticable difference on a long, steep climb.
I agree with this. There are flat pedal setups that allow you to "pedal circles" pretty effectively too (they easily have enough grip to push forward over the top and pull back across the bottom), but for road use I do much prefer clipless myself. They are lighter and very secure.

I was just pointing out to the OP that it's not about trying to pull up on the upstroke as they were thinking. Studies of professional road cyclists have shown that even they don't do that. The best you can do on the upstroke at any normal cadence and power is to unweight your leg to prevent it from having a negative power contribution from its own weight as you raise it against gravity. For that purpose you don't need clipless.
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Old 09-26-21, 05:02 AM
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An alternative to the SPD and flat double sided is to get something like the Shimano 520's double sided SPD and then the flat clip ins for those times you want to use them as flats. That way when you need them to be flats they can be, but when not you get the double sided SPD benefit.
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Old 09-26-21, 05:08 AM
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Another vote for SPD. For the road, I like the Shimano A520 and A600 pedals. I think they give better support than the double sided mtb pedals. I also prefer the single release cleats as I imagine(?) they may be more predictable. A quick twitch of the heel and you are unclipped. Same motion, same result every time, muscle memory. Earlier this year I bought some SPD-SLs and 3 bolt shoes, just because. I gave them a good try for several months but couldn't get comfortable. The engagement didn't seem as positive as SPDs and they offered no more support than my Axxx pedals. The left cleat was already worn out when I gave up on them, just from putting a foot down at stops. On the other hand, the 3 bolt SPD=SL/Look types do seem much more popular among road riders.
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Old 09-26-21, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Another vote for SPD. For the road, I like the Shimano A520 and A600 pedals. I think they give better support than the double sided mtb pedals. I also prefer the single release cleats as I imagine(?) they may be more predictable. A quick twitch of the heel and you are unclipped. Same motion, same result every time, muscle memory. Earlier this year I bought some SPD-SLs and 3 bolt shoes, just because. I gave them a good try for several months but couldn't get comfortable. The engagement didn't seem as positive as SPDs and they offered no more support than my Axxx pedals. The left cleat was already worn out when I gave up on them, just from putting a foot down at stops. On the other hand, the 3 bolt SPD=SL/Look types do seem much more popular among road riders.
Yeah I actually prefer SPD-SL to SPD, although it's a very long time since I used SPD.
Only downside for me with SPD-SL is walking in them, which I basically avoid when road biking.
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